I read somewhere recently the most overused word on the internet/blogosphere/twittersphere right now is “Wow.”
Which sucks, cos I have used that word since birth (and what a time to use it, might I add), thus feel justified in throwing my hands up to my face, sticking out my tongue and yelling out to the internet (yes, that’s right, the whole damn thing): “Na na na na na na, I said it first!”
But you know, what am I? Twenty-six? I think not.
So, stuff it, let me say instead this:
(Haha! Take that internet commentators! KAPOW!)
For I have found Fear.Less, an uber-inspiring, intelligent and beautifully written e-magazine, which I love. Please do check it out, I’m pretty sure you can just download it for later viewing if you’re unable to commit the required procrastinatory minutes (and if so, who are you? Ghandi?) but yes, do it.
The interview with renowned photographer Platon really spoke to me in particular. Just me, that’s right. I especially loved this quote:
I remember a few years ago I went to see the legendary architectural photographer Julius Shulman – who’s almost 100 now – and I’m a huge fan of his, so I wanted to go and pay homage to him. When I saw him, I said, “Have you got any advice for me? I’m a young guy trying to be successful.” He said, “I’ve got great advice for you. You represent the younger generation who are all obsessed with trying to ‘make it’. I’ve made it now, and I’m an old man. I can’t even focus the camera very well, I need help getting up and down the stairs. This is ‘made it’? If this is ‘made it,’ then ‘made it’ sucks.” He continued, “The beautiful thing is the journey, and you’re already on the journey, and you have to enjoy every single step of the way.”
Did you hear that? That was my hair follicles retracting.
I feel like before this year went completely off track, I was so incredibly focused on “making it”, that it bordered on obsession. I was constantly caught up in the dreaming (not that the ‘dreaming’ part is bad, but the ‘caught up’ in is, just go ask a dolphin), the future, the ‘it will all be good when…’
It was in the aftermath that somebody challenged me with this: “You’ve spent your whole life trying to achieve things, but you’ve never just let yourself achieve nothing. Why don’t you try focusing on that for a change?”
And so dear person-in-cyberspace, that’s exactly what I did. Don’t get me wrong, dreams would flirt, but I would only acknowledge them with an eyebrow raise, then let them move along. And you know what? It was so unbelievably difficult!
But, once I got the hang of it, it was also unbelievably wonderful.
Not just to give myself a break, but more importantly, to discover that my life is actually full of lots of great things, beautiful people and awesome sparkly wonder, even without even so much as a glimpse of “making it” on the horizon.
The funny thing is that now I’ve emerged from my little “achieving nothing” retreat, and am finally ready to make some plans and get some movement on the career front again, I’m finding the process so much more enjoyable, namely cos I know that while I want it, I don’t need it.
Every great career will have highs and every great career will topple once in a while. It’s not about whether you’re winning or losing; it’s about trying. Sometimes you’re successful, and sometimes you’re a disastrous mess, but neither of those are what it’s about ironically. It’s about the attempt.
Any other chronic ‘making it’ obsessers out there? Thoughts, tips and therapy pour-outs most welcome!!!
*Image courtesy of Fo@d